English 190

Research Seminar: Ethics and U.S. Fiction


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
7 Fall 2015 Serpell, C. Namwali
TTh 11-12:30 206 Wheeler

Book List

Ellis, Bret Easton: American Psycho; James, Henry: The Golden Bowl; Morrison, Toni: Beloved; Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita; Robinson, Marilynne: Gilead; Twain, Mark: Huckleberry Finn

Other Readings and Media

Stanley Kubrick, Lolita (1962). Mary Harron, American Psycho (2000). Behn Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012).

Description

Is reading good for us? Or bad for us? How does literature work as, or against, moral philosophy? What responsibilities do the author and the reader hold with regard to texts? What is the relationship between ethics, aesthetics, and affect? How do genre and form bear on the ethics of literature? How does literature influence our ideas about character, action, principle, virtue, and value?

This course takes up these questions about ethics and literature in U.S. fiction since 1850. We will consider a set of novels, short stories, and film adaptations alongside essays in ethical criticism. Please be advised that all readings and screenings in the course are required; some texts include graphic violence and sexually explicit subject matter. The seminar will move toward the development, writing, and revision of a final 20-page research paper.

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

 

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.

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